Friday, December 21, 2012

Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23

Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23
Episode 7: A Weekend in the Hamptons
By: Carlos Uribe

Don't Trust the B— in Apt. 23 is about Chloe, a total crazy girl, and June, an almost crazy girl. It also has James Van Der Beek playing himself.

Spoilers Ahoy!

A Weekend in the Hamptons is an episode that builds around the “benders” that the main trio are having in the Hamptons. June isn't really going on a bender. She goes to the Hamptons to get out of the apartment but she doesn't get into the spirit. She doesn't just glue her eyes to her phone to hear back from a job interview but she plans her entire trip. She has a wish-list of what she wants to do while in the Hamptons and she tries to use the trip to cross things off. Chloe isn't happy with June's unspotaneous activity but she's the first person to support June when she does get an interview. The main plot is simple but it didn't really seem to have much in common with the other plots. Chloe and James are both having identity crises. June doesn't really have one. Her entire conflict is with Chloe rather than an internal one. This is fine but it felt at times like the series simply couldn't decide on June's plot. There was her trying to enjoy the Hamptons, connecting with the elusive mystery man who throws parties, and trying to find out if she has an interview. There were so many things happening to the character that it was difficult for any of them to really work well. It doesn't help that not a single one of these three plots have any real emotional heart to them. They all just happened and it was hard to care about June this week.

Chloe's bender is built around her going to a party hosted by a guy that nobody has met. Her weekend immediately runs into a problem when she runs into her party friend from the Hamptons only to discover this friend has baby twins. This former party girl has been transformed into a responsible mother whose life is dominated by her children. Chloe is shocked at first but she keeps her plan on showing up at the party and having sex with it's unknown host. That plan is wrecked when she discovers that the host is a fake husband she had married at a wedding party. Chloe realizes that there is very little new experiences waiting for her. She has been in so many parties that she's afraid she won't be surprised anymore. This leads to her having a small internal crisis until an annual sexual act with Lenny Kravitz makes her realize that she doesn't need to do new things because she loves the old things just as much. She can remain a party girl a bit longer simply because she likes her life even if it has lost it's spark of doing something new. Chloe's entire plot seems like it's going to be a Great Gatsby satire at first but it becomes an internal crisis that makes her question her entire life. That she decides to stay the same does limit any character growth but the alternative would have ended the show's premise. Overall this was much stronger than the June plot.

The final two benders have to do with James and Mark. Mark merely deals with his girlfriend breaking up with him when she learned he wasn't going to propose and his new developing feelings for June. James is trying to get over his Dancing with the Stars debacle. He messed up in front of a live national audience and he's trying to get over that. He tries to be alone with his thoughts but it's Mark who gets him to move on. Mark convinces him that he has to create his own opportunities rather than dwelling on the past. This inspires Dawson to direct and star in his own film. While Mark's story largely repeats the same beats from the Halloween episode, the James plot provided a good finish to what had become a plot that was simply trying too hard to be funny.

A Weekend in the Hamptons is the mid-season finale of this show. It'll be back with a fresh batch of actual season two episodes, rather than season one holdouts. As an actual episode, it isn't as bad as the other remaining season one episodes. The James and Chloe stories worked really well for those characters. The only thing holding it back was the June plot because the series needed to decide on which course to take her character throughout the episode rather than surrounding her with multiple plots.

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